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  • Author Alex Ingram
  • Published September 3, 2014

What’s all this, then? IFA explained: LG@IFA2014

Over the last few months, How To Live It’s trio of Rising Stars have been writing all manner of top-notch pieces for us, in the hope of nabbing a place on our Berlin-bound plane to write about glam tech show IFA. Alex Ingram rose to the top, and so it is that he’s brushing up on his German before he flies out to experience the future of technology. But not before we set him another challenge: what on Earth is IFA, anyway?


The time has come for IFA 2014, and over the coming days, How to Live It will be reporting from Berlin on the show’s 90th anniversary.


It’s a big deal. IFA – which stands for Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin – is one of the largest tech shows in the world, with over 200,000 people expected to attend over the course of the week. Rumour has it that a perplexed Tony Robinson was once seen strolling through the 30 vast halls of IFA when he confused it with a conference for the Institute For Archaeologists, but this type of mix-up is, fortunately, rare.


First hosted in 1924, IFA was originally a showcase for the latest radio technology (the word “Funkausstellung” literally translates as “radio show”). There have been several world firsts over the years, including the first tape recorder in 1935, and the compact audio cassette/cassette recorder in ‘63.


As a well-known philosopher once said “video killed the radio star”, and IFA has moved with the time, and since 1995 it has been a truly multimedia trade fair. The modern day running of the show is so popular because it is an exhibition for the benefit of both consumers and press, where many other shows focus much more on the media. IFA even has a mascot, the red-haired Miss IFA.


Miss IFA with a box on her head, yesterday.


There are major launches expected this year, and of course LG will be at the forefront. IFA will be the first public showing of its latest smartwatch offering, the G Watch R. Powered by Android Wear, LG has created a smartwatch with a more traditional design, with an attractive, round face. Except where you’d normally find tiny cogs and springs, the water resistant G Watch R packs a 1.2Ghz processor and a 1.3in OLED screen, plus a heart rate monitor.


LG will also present the first 4K OLED displays on sale to the public. With 3840 x 2160 pixels squeezed into either 65 or 77-inch curved screens, these TVs promise an amazing viewing experience, with greater contrast and less blurring than regular LED screens.


So, plenty of reasons to be excited by IFA. Big TVs, classy smartwatches and more tech than you can shake a stick at. Or motion gesture at. Whichever applies best in 2014.


Alex Ingram is the winner of the How To Live It Rising Stars competition. See all the work from our three talented finalists right here.

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